Winger Paul Arriola will play for FC Dallas in the new MLS season after the club reached a deal with D.C. United for his transfer.

Paul Arriola
Paul Arriola was close to seal a transfer to Swansea in Jan. 2021, but the move fell off at the last minute. (Image: 90min.com)

The Athletic reports that the trade will send $2 million in general allocation money to D.C. United, the highest return in the history of the MLS. D.C. could end up receiving an additional $300k if certain performance clauses are reached.

Arriola played for D.C. starting 2017, when a fee of $3 million was paid for his services. The player scored 20 goals in 92 games for D.C. after his move from Tijuana in Mexico. Arriola is also a USMNT member, having played a total of 42 games at the international level and scoring eight goals. He is on the roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and is likely to make the squad.

Dallas kicks off its MLS season on 26 Feb. against Toronto FC. Arriola is expected to be an instant hit, given his status as an established league and national team contributor. In 2021, he recorded six goals and four assists in 20 appearances, but United added 20 percent to their non-DP, non-Under 22 initiative budget thanks to Arriola being traded.

Arriola will turn 27 in February. One year ago, Championship club Swansea showed interest in him, but the move did not go through. Had the transfer taken place, the American could have battled for promotion to the English Premier League.

A tough life for Dallas in 2021

Dallas missed out on the playoffs last season, finishing 11th in the Western Conference with 33 points from 34 games. Only Austin and Houston Dynamo did worse. Dallas conceded 56 goals, representing the joint-worst defensive performance in the league along with Austin.

Dallas only won seven games in 2021. The bookies don’t see them inside the top 10 favorites for the MLS Cup this season. They are at +5000 to triumph, the same as D.C. United, Chicago and Salt Lake.

LAFC, New England and Seattle remain the top seeds at +700, with defending champions NYCFC at +1000 and Sporting KC at +1200.

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